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fic: Juice

Title: Juice
Author: fengirl88
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Pairing/Characters: Harry/Clara
Rating: R
Warnings: none
Wordcount: ~530
Disclaimer: They're still not mine.
Summary: “Just an orange juice for me,” Harry says, glowing with virtue.
A/N: written for bedamn 's request for Harry/Clara at my writing meme; follows the events of Water


Juice

“Just an orange juice for me,” Harry says, glowing with virtue.

And the band played Believe It If You Like, Clara thinks stonily.

Harry's face falls. “You never let up, do you?”

“What?” Clara says. “I'm supposed to fall on your neck now just because you ask for orange juice?”

She's been here too often before. Even when she couldn't work out where the vodka was stashed, she knew it was there. She'd taken a swig once from Harry's glass by mistake, spent the next minute and a half choking. Harry always did like it strong.

Which at first had seemed just part of that larger than life quality she had. Irresistible, till you find out the hard way what it means.

She remembers that description of the drinker's smile that made her think of Harry: that fire-exit smile ... absolving and untouchable and tenderly alight. Bloody good novel, but she hadn't been able to finish reading it. She'll go back to it another time. Maybe.

It's all so shiny and glorious at the start –

the flood of excitement, soaking everything, incredible, inexhaustible, the grip of Harry's thighs around her neck squeezing the life out of her

till one day you find there's no air left and no space to move in and you don't understand when your life became a trap.

You hope against hope that the good times will come back, if only you could do the right thing. But there is no right thing, only a narrowing array of bad choices.

She doesn't understand even now why she couldn't walk away. Why she had to wait to be left, had to accept Harry's rejection and blame as the price of her escape. All she knows is that she's not going back.

If that is what Harry wants. Clara's still not sure why she wanted to meet.

“I've been clean for months now,” Harry says.

“Congratulations,” Clara says, trying not to sound sarcastic.

(Don't think about what Luke said about the drying-out clinic: people will do anything rather than change, they will literally die rather than change.)

“I'm seeing someone,” Harry blurts out.

Oh.

“Yes?” Clara says, as neutrally as she can. She's not going to ask for details; just hopes she can escape without them.

“It's Sarah,” Harry says.

Clara runs through the faces of friends and acquaintances in her head, but nothing matches the name.

“Sarah?”

Harry looks uncomfortable. “Sarah Sawyer. John's ... colleague.”

John's ex-girlfriend. Running true to form there, then.

The effort of not saying it means she's silent too long: she sees Harry's face crumple with hurt.

“You just can't be pleased for me, can you?” Harry says. “Because it didn't work out with us you don't want me to be happy with someone else.”

“Oh, Harry–” But it's too late.

"I don't know why I bothered," Harry says venomously. “You have never known how to love. Never.”

Orange juice is stickier than wine, Clara thinks, watching the liquid run down Harry's face. She puts Harry's empty glass carefully back down on the table and picks up her coat and handbag.

“Goodbye, Harry,” she says, getting up to go. “Goodbye, and good luck.”

***

The description of the drinker's smile comes from A.L. Kennedy's novel Paradise.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
fengirl88
Mar. 29th, 2011 02:37 am (UTC)
thank you on both counts! I felt bad about dooming the relationship with Sarah when it had hardly started, but I couldn't believe the Harry in my head!canon would really change. I've seen sympathetic versions of Harry (notably by marysutherland) but can't imagine one for my Clara.
darthhellokitty
Mar. 29th, 2011 02:33 am (UTC)
Oh, Harry! Sarah! I think Clara was quite justified here...
fengirl88
Mar. 29th, 2011 02:39 am (UTC)
thank you - I'm glad you think so!

kalypso_v requested Harry/Sarah, so I finally committed my first femslash with that most unlikely pairing, but then bedamn asked for Harry/Clara and this happened...
mazarin221b
Apr. 16th, 2011 12:49 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's a convoluted mess of a set of relationships (I don't know how I missed "Water," but I've read it now and - yeah.) I like how real everyone is - everyone has issues, no one is perfect. Very nice. I know in the show we'll not ever get to meet Clara, but I really wish we could, her and Harry both, and I have a feeling they'd be a lot like this.
fengirl88
Apr. 16th, 2011 01:09 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - I'm very glad you like it, and that you think this is how they'd be.
thimpressionist
Apr. 16th, 2011 10:21 pm (UTC)
OH MY FUCKING GOD MARRY ME WOMAN!

I will return and comment when I'm actually coherent because this is perfection
fengirl88
Apr. 16th, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC)
seriously? wow. thank you very much.

I'm really glad you liked it. I took it down the first time I posted it (on the meme and at AO3) because I wasn't sure about it.

Edited at 2011-04-16 10:51 pm (UTC)
thimpressionist
Apr. 18th, 2011 03:21 am (UTC)
What? No, I thought this was fantastic. I love how spare and evocative it is; you do so much with just the right words.

Dammit Gatiss if you don't give me some lesbians in S2 and they aren't this awesome, I will personally come to England and, well, probably promptly get lost, but I will come to your country! SO COWER IN FEAR!

>>
fengirl88
Apr. 18th, 2011 11:18 am (UTC)
thank you! *glows*

well, you could always come here anyway, just to make sure! now if we could just get you and bloomy and turante to London at the same time...

*whistles innocently*
r34dinglight
Apr. 16th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC)
now I am really hoping that at some point we will get to meet Harry and Clara next series.not that they will get to even hint at the dark ill fated fantastic you went to here. and Sarah as the rebound? brilliant!

god, this fandom needs more femslash. like this and more.
fengirl88
Apr. 17th, 2011 12:08 am (UTC)
thank you very much! so glad you liked this.

I don't hold out much hope for interesting lesbian characterization in series 2 but I continue to be fascinated by the idea of Harry and Clara as offstage characters.

Harry/Sarah was kalypso_v's idea - I would never have thought of it myself! bedamn was the first person I read writing Harry/Clara, and I love what she did with them.

marysutherland has written some terrific Harry/Molly, and I think she has more of that in the pipeline - she's written femslash involving other characters as well (including Sally/Ella).
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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